Lewis County crews finished a nearly month-long cleanup project at a Centralia property once owned by notorious Centralia hoarder Vic Bonagofski that included the removal of nearly 800 tons of assorted trash costing the county about $98,000, said Steve Skinner, leader of the solid waste division of Lewis County Public Works, on Tuesday.
“As of this morning, we were at 772 (tons) and we loaded one more trailer,” he said.
Bonagofski died at 72 years old in 2015 after being hit by a train while riding his bike on a Centralia railroad crossing. He was well known for collecting cardboard and other items in a trailer attached to his bicycle.
Lewis County seized the property he owned in the 1300 block of West Reynolds Avenue last year through a tax foreclosure process. Crews removed the most hazardous material — more than 80 junk vehicles and gallons of used cooking oil — last fall.
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In the past month, contractors tore down six buildings on the property, including houses, a garage and a barn. One house was completely filled with cardboard.
The property contained more than 600 wooden pallets and about 20 hard plastic pallets.
“We did save those, and we are going to reuse those for something, I don’t know what,” Skinner said.
With a price tag of less than $100,000, the project came in well under the initial estimate of $120,000.
Crews salvaged $2,500 worth of scrap metal and hauled away more than 3,300 pounds of cardboard. Eight loads of tires were also taken off the property and will be disposed of at a later date, Skinner said.
“Toward the end in the last few piles, we did haul a lot of dirt away, which I hate seeing,” he said, noting that the dirt was full of odd bits of metal and broken glass.
Earlier this month, Skinner estimated tons of broken glass still needed to be removed from the property.
This is the fourth time Lewis County has cleaned up a property owned by Bonagofski. They cleaned up the Reynolds Avenue property once before in the 1990s and twice cleaned out a property on Harrison Avenue that has since been sold to new owners.
County Public Works director Erik Martin said the Board of Lewis County commissioners are looking at options for the property.
“There’s no decision been made yet,” he said.